East Chapel Hill’s basketball varsities are nothing if not resilient.
Less than a week after losing at home by double digits to Chapel Hill, the Wildcats bounced back to sweep a pair of games Tuesday night at Carrboro. In both cases, the point guards came up big.
Led by a career-high 33 points from junior point guard Ali Cyr-Scully, East’s girls won 59-38.
“We still had some of the fight from that Chapel Hill game left in us,” Cyr-Scully said. “We really wanted to beat Carrboro. Some of that was getting back for the Chapel Hill game.”
The East boys team won by an even bigger margin — 57-32. Sophomore guard Chris Collins led the Wildcats’ scoring with 25 points.
“That was a great showing by our guys,” East Chapel Hill boys head coach Ray Hartsfield said. “It was a good bounce-back game for us.”
East’s boys had balanced scoring. Robert Wilson provided a double-double of 11 points and 12 rebounds, and 6-8 Lawyer Dallas had 12 points and 7 rebounds. Sophomore Kevin Gilland contributed 6 points, 4 assists and affected several Carrboro shots in the lane.
Hartsfield liked the balanced scoring, but he liked the defensive intensity even more.
The Wildcats (2-1) held Carrboro (0-2) to just two baskets in the game’s first 8 minutes, but the Jaguars got 3-pointers from Jackson Overbeck, Charlie Mendys and Ben Linke to spark a 13-4 run in the second quarter, leaving Carrboro up 18-15.
“Their 3-point shots hurt us in the second quarter. We talked a lot at halftime about getting put there on those shots,” Hartsfield said.
East limited Carrboro to 2-for-13 shooting from the field over the first 10 minutes after halftime — allowing zero 3-pointers in the second half.
Collins scored East’s first 8 points of the second half to spark a 19-5 run that resulted in a 36-21 lead. East never let Carrboro closer than 40-27 after that.
The defense by East’s girls was every bit as effective. The Wildcats pushed Carrboro into committing 25 turnovers, including on eight of their first 15 possessions of the game. Meanwhile, East scored on eight straight possessions late in the first quarter to gain an early 20-8 lead.
Cyr-Scully scored 17 points in the first half, helping East go up 32-18 by halftime.
Her 33 points topped her previous personal high of 28 points.
“Ali had a phenomenal night,” East Chapel Hill girls coach Michelle Wood said. “She was able to do just about anything she wanted with the ball.
“But everyone got involved. To come in here and get a win like this means a lot.”
East’s Sarah Towne scored 10 points and proved to be the Wildcats’ biggest defensive force in the paint. Sophomore guard T.J. Johnson had 9 points for East (2-1).
Carrboro’s Katherine Wood had 14 points to lead the Jaguars (0-2).
Both of Carrboro’s varsitiessuffered injuries to important starters. Grace Nanney went down with a head injury after a collision with an East Chapel Hill player and was on the court for almost 30 minutes before being evacuated by paramedics. In the boys’ game, Overbeck came down on the foot of an East defender after a layup and twisted his left ankle with 3:23 left in the third quarter. He later left the gym on crutches.